The Other End of Sunset

Monday, August 22, 2005

What's up with the name?

I was asked about the name for my blog. Therein lies a story.

I used to live in Los Angeles. (Yes, I regressed and moved north. Don't rub it in. I used to be better, then I came here. I'm shorter and less handsome now too.)

Part of the time I lived in LA was in Pacific Palisades, north of LA proper, on Sunset Boulevard. Every time I gave a non-LA-er my address, I'd have the same exchange: No, not in Hollywood where the stars are. Yes, I know it's the same street. No, really, the *other* end of Sunset.

And I said that so much that it stuck with me.

The nice part of the phrase is that it captures this great notion of hopeful and fatalistic, depending on how you parse it. The other end of sunset is sunrise -- the darkness will go, hey that's great! On the other hand, the other end of sunset (sunrise) is just another part of sunset (darkness). Hmm, that is kind of depressing.

The contradiction works for me. Kind of like cheerful punk music.

I started trying to find ways to work the phrase into my day-to-day life. I wanted to form a band, and call it that -- but it turns out one needs musical talent to form a band. (Strange, never seemed to be a problem for most of Top 40 bands, but I digress.) I tried to work the phrase into technical reports I was writing, but that rarely worked. It appears in the comments of many different programs I wrote (including a virtual reality training simulator for surfing, which was clearly the best use of funding ever). But it never really stuck anywhere.

And so, many years later, it resurfaces as the title of my nascent blog. Thanks for listening.

Random thought for the day: Can you imagine how hard it was for the Israeli soldiers to move settlers out from Gaza over the past few days? The mixed feelings must have been overwhelming. (No, I'm not commenting on whether the move was right or wrong, I'm commenting on how hard the soldiers' job must have been. I'm a psychologist, not an ethicist, and I make enough mistakes of my own, I don't need to opine on others' decisions.)

I just finished reading _Medici Money_ (on the flight home from India, yes, I'll talk about the hats again later). It was a pretty easy read, with good historical context. I'd have preferred a slightly different style -- jumping around in time was a bit confusing to little ole' me, and he told the same joke twice -- but there are some great facts in there.

That's all for now. Later, more hats, the Great Wall, beds in Beijing, and traffic in Hyderabad.